Britain has become a nation of sleeping pill addicts since the start of the economic downturn, figures revealed yesterday.
Stress-related insomnia has been blamed for a sharp increase in the number of people prescribed powerful drugs to help them sleep.
The annual cost to the NHS of handing out the pills has risen by a sixth in the past three years to nearly £50million.
But there are fears that strong medication is being given out too readily and patients are becoming hooked.
Many of the most commonly used pills have potentially dangerous side effects including liver problems, headaches and nausea.